Technical barriers to trade (TBTs) are widely divergent measures that countries use to regulate rnarkets, protect their consumers, and preserve natural resources, but which can also discriminate against imports in favor of domestic products. Most TBTs in agriculture are sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures designed to protect humans, animals, and plants from contaminants, diseases, and pests. In the wake of new trade agreements aimed at reducing tariffs, import quotas, and other trade barriers, TBTs have become more prominent concerns for agricultural exporters and policymakers.
Senate and House committees in October reported legislation for new fast track authority enabling the Administration to negotiate trade agreements with foreign countries and to submit them to Congress for consideration under expedited procedures. Many agricultural and food industry interests are among the export-dependent enterprises that support new fast track authority, arguing that foreign trading partners will not seriously negotiate with an Administration that lacks it. However, some agricultural groups argue that fast track provides them with inadequate opportunities for dealing with their issues, and that it ultimately will lead to new agreements that benefit foreign more than U.S. producers, at least in some commodity sectors. Neither bill was taken to the floor in 1997 because of insufficient votes for passage in the House. However, the President is expected to seek approval in 1998.
Date: December 3, 1997
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S. & Hanrahan, Charles E.
This report discusses the fast track trade procedures in the Trade Act of 1974 operate as procedural rules of the House and Senate, and the statute itself declares them to be enacted as an exercise of the constitutional authority of each house to determine its own rules. These procedures prevent Congress from altering an implementing bill or declining to act, but permit it to enact or reject the bill. By these means Congress retains authority to legislate in the areas covered, yet affords the President conditions for effective negotiation.
This report discusses the November 25, 1997 summit held by leaders of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in Vancouver, B.C., Canada. The purpose of the summit was to further pursue the APEC agenda of endorsing a framework developed by APEC leaders' finance ministers to promote financial stability in the Asia-Pacific region and to supplement resources by the International Monetary Fund when necessary.
This report provides background on the range of actions that might be termed foreign policy sanctions and the events that might necessitate their use. Criteria are offered that legislators might consider to judge when sanctions might be appropriate, approaches that might be effective, aspects of the use of sanctions that are sometimes overlooked or not considered fully. The report provides an uncomplicated "map" of where sanctions policies and options currently lay in U. S. law.
This report presents a history of U.S. economic sanctions imposed against the People's Republic of China for foreign policy reasons since 1949. It highlights sanctions that are currently active and details occasions on which those restrictions have been modified, waived or permanently lifted. The report provides citations for Presidential authority in current law and the Administration's issuance of regulations and administrative orders.
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